Fenerbahçe wants to keep on winning as it hosts Barcelona

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
Fenerbahçe will be looking up to Melli (4) to provide some much-needed firepower.
Fenerbahçe will be looking up to Melli (4) to provide some much-needed firepower.

Turkish Airlines EuroLeague regular season will resume with Round 20 matches tomorrow as reigning champion Fenerbahçe Doğuş faces Barcelona Lassa in Istanbul. The Yellow Canaries are in excellent form, though, winning four consecutive games to climb into joint-second place.

A major challenge for the visiting defense will be disrupting Fenerbahçe's long-range shooting game, with Zeljko Obradovic's men sending home 41.2 percent of their 3-point attempts so far this season, the second-best in the league. On the other hand, every time it seems that Barcelona's (7-12) playoff challenge is in danger of collapsing, the Spanish club has kept its hopes alive by pulling out a big win, doing so again with last week's victory over Brose Bamberg. After already defeating CSKA Moscow, Olympiacos and Panathinaikos this season, Barcelona will not be daunted by facing Fenerbahçe (13-6).

Elsewhere, two extremely unpredictable teams meet in Belgrade, where Zvezda (7-12) will look to end a three-game losing slide against an Olympiacos (13-6) team that has lost four of its last five away games, being hammered by 32 and 28 points in the last two.

As for the match between Valencia Basket and Khimki Moscow Region, Khimki's (11-8) current run of three wins in four games has lifted the Russian team to within a game of the top four, and that gap could be surmounted with victory over a Valencia Basket (6-13) team that has been involved in several close battles recently.

Elsewhere, a newly-confident Milan (6-13) will aim for its third consecutive victory against a Maccabi team (10-9) eager to make a good start to a run of three road trips in the next four rounds. The Israeli side has lost five consecutive away games by an average of 18.4 points and badly needs to toughen up on its travels to maintain its grip on a playoff position. However, Maccabi has fond memories of Milan, where it won the 2014 EuroLeague crown.

In comparison, Milan has scored at least 80 points in each of its last five outings but will have to work hard to avoid being heavily outrebounded by a Maccabi team that leads the league in that category with an average of 37.3 boards per game.

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